There is no God

Dramatis personæ

NAREN

BHAVANANDA

BHUPEN (YOUNGER BROTHER OF NAREN)

Scene 1

(Naren is meditating in his room. Enter Bhavananda.)

NAREN (stands up): Come in. Come in, please. I am so glad to see you. I have not seen you for a long time. I have many things to discuss with you. The first thing I would like to ask you is this: does God exist, brother? It seems to me that there is no God. And even if He exists, it makes no difference to me. He never hears, He never feels the excruciating pangs of the poor. He never feels the suffering of bleeding humanity. The God who cannot feed the hungry with a piece of bread is an indifferent God, a cruel God. Who can believe he will have all happiness, all satisfaction in the other world from that kind of God?

BHAVANANDA: Naren, have you gone crazy? What is wrong with you? What nonsense are you speaking? Why do you talk like this?

NAREN: Why not? Why not? Do you know, brother, what happened this morning? Early in the morning as I got up I was uttering the name of God most soulfully. My mother said to me, “Shut up. Since your childhood you have been praying to God and meditating on God. And now look what God has done to us. Your father has left this world, and misery, suffering and poverty have embraced us. We have no food, no money, no means of supporting the family. My heart is breaking into pieces. I cannot even feed my little children, my sweet children. I will have nothing to do with a God who cannot take away our sufferings.” Now tell me, brother, what am I supposed to say to my mother?

BHAVANANDA: Naren, let us not find fault with God. If you find fault with God, then some serious calamity will take place in your family. I am warning you.

NAREN: I am not afraid of anything. Let the worst possible calamity take place. I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.

BHAVANANDA: Naren, please go to Thakur from time to time. Thakur will be so sad to hear what is happening in your life. He is the only one who will be able to console you.

(Enter Bhupen.)

BHUPEN: Brother, please bring me some candy today. I am so fond of candy. Please don’t forget.

NAREN: Please, Bhupen, do not bother me. We are having a very serious conversation. Please, please go away, Bhupen. Don’t bother us right now.

BHUPEN: I will go away, but first you have to promise to bring candy for me. You have to bring candy without fail.

(Exit Bhupen.)

NAREN: So, brother, you see? I am his elder brother, and I will not be able to fulfil his loving demand. I have no money at all, not even enough to buy a piece of candy for him. He who cannot fulfil such a simple desire of a younger brother is not worthy of being called an elder brother. His life is a real disgrace. So why should I care for God? No! We Hindus worship stone gods, so our God has become stone-hearted.

BHAVANANDA: Don’t say so, Naren. God is all Compassion. I see that what I have been hearing from people is true: you have become an atheist.

(Exit Bhavananda.)

NAREN: A real friend, indeed! He came here to test me. He came here not to show his concern, but to know what kind of life I am leading. He came not as a friend, but as a critic, as a rogue, as a detective. No, I shall not go to Thakur any more. (Pauses.) But alas, what am I doing? What am I doing? Is not God-realisation the sole object of my life? To earn money, to feed a family, can never be the aim of my life. I must renounce the world. There is no other way. I must renounce the world and search for God. There can be no other way.

(Naren sings.)

Tamasa rate nayan pate
herile jadi amar pane
apan kare amai laho
he dayamoy karuna dane
tomar ami abodh shishu
ekla chali gahan pathe
duhate more jariye dharo
bhasiye jena na jai srote

(In the dark and dense night,
You cast Your benign Eyes upon me.
Take me and make me Your very own, offering Your Compassion.
I am Your innocent child. Alone do I walk on a thick, dense path.
With Your two Arms, embrace me.
Allow me not to be drowned and washed away by the turbulent currents of life.)

My Naren can never be an atheist

Dramatis personæ

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

RAKHAL

BHAVANANDA

TARAK

JOGIN

OTHER DISCIPLES

NAREN

Scene 1

(Sri Ramakrishna with his disciples at Dakshineshwar.)

RAKHAL: Have you heard about our Naren recently? Everybody is speaking ill of him. Everybody says that he has become an atheist. But I don’t believe it.

BHAVANANDA: You don’t believe it? I suspect him. This morning I was at his house. He speaks like a real atheist.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Shut up! Shut up! My Mother Kali has told me that this can never be so. My Naren can never be an atheist. If I hear once more from you people that my Naren has become an atheist, I shall never again see your faces! Never!

TARAK: Our Naren can never be an atheist. I know him.

JOGIN: Impossible! Our Naren can never be an atheist. Even if I see any defect in Naren, I will not believe it. I will think it is the fault of my own eyes. If I hear anything bad about Naren, I shall think it is the fault of my own ears. Our Naren can never do anything wrong.

TARAK: Certainly, certainly. That should be our attitude. He is our real friend. Our Naren is pure. It is very rare to have a God-like character like Naren’s.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Excellent, excellent. (Pointing to his own body.) It is for Naren that I have come here into the world. You try to recognize Naren. One day he will conquer the whole world. I see in the spiritual Master Keshab Sen only one knowledge-sun. But in my Naren I see eighteen knowledge-suns.

(Enter Naren. He prostrates himself before Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna places his hand on Naren’s head.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: May Mother bless you.

NAREN: Today I have a special request.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Is there any request of yours that I will not fulfil?

NAREN: Then please fulfil this request. My mother and my little sisters and brothers are practically starving. We have become absolutely poverty-stricken. After the death of my father, all our relatives turned against us. Now my family has no means of support. I am the eldest member in my family and I can do nothing for them. If you make a special request to the Mother to save me from this financial difficulty, she will listen to you. I am sure that if you ask the Mother, she will definitely listen to your request.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Naren, I am ready to beg from door to door for you. Do you think that I have not yet asked my Mother about you? But what can I do? You do not believe in her; that is why she does not pay any attention to my request. All right. I have an excellent idea. It is Tuesday. Go to the Temple of Mother Kali today and invoke her. Pray to the Mother. Whatever you want, I assure you, she will grant to you.

NAREN: All right. Today I shall test your stone-hearted Mother, Thakur.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: My child, don’t say that. She is not stone-hearted. She is all love. She is all compassion.

Mother, give me the Light of Knowledge, the Light of Discrimination and the Light of Renunciation

Dramatis personæ

NAREN — VIVEKANANDA

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

DISCIPLES OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA

Scene 1

(It is night. Inside the Kali Temple, Naren is meditating. After a while, he prostrates himself before the statue of Mother Kali.)

NAREN: Jnana viveka vairagya de ma. Mother, give me the Light of Knowledge, the Light of Discrimination and the Light of Renunciation, so that I can always see you.

(Enter Sri Ramakrishna hurriedly.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Naren, have you asked Mother Kali for money for your family? What have you been doing?

NAREN: What a surprise! I forgot all about it.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: No harm. I shall give you another chance. Ask her for money, for material wealth. Mother will give it to you.

(Naren turns to the statue and begins meditating again.)

NAREN: Mother, give me the Light of Knowledge, the Light of Discrimination and the Light of Renunciation. Mother, Mother of mine, Mother of my heart and soul.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Again the same thing? Why do you forget that your mother and brothers and sisters are all starving? Ask the Mother to save your family from poverty. This is the only time that you can ask the Mother for that. I will not be able to give you the same opportunity every day. I am ready to give it to you any time. But Mother will not allow it. Today I have promised you because Mother has told me that she will fulfil your prayers today, no matter what you ask of her. Now you have lost your second chance. But I wish to give you another chance. Please, my son, this time don’t forget. Remember, you must ask the Mother for material wealth. That is what you need. Right now you don’t need spiritual wealth.

NAREN: No, I won’t take any more chances. I do not need material wealth. I want nectar from the Mother, and not anything else. For gourds and pumpkins I will not ask. I can ask only for the nectar-fruit.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Since you cannot ask the Mother for material wealth and prosperity, then I wish to say that you will never have a comfortable life. But from now on you will be able to manage. You and your family will not starve. You will be able to live at least from hand to mouth. Mother will do that much for you. (He shouts.) Come, all those who are here! No matter where you are! Come! All my disciples, come!

(Enter disciples.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: You people have told me that my Naren has become an atheist. Look! He could not ask for material wealth from my Mother. Do you know that he starves? His mother and his sisters and brothers have no food at home. Yet he could not ask Mother Kali for material wealth. Nowhere on earth will you find anyone who can equal my Naren. He is your leader. He will lead and guide you. He will preserve you. This body of mine is completing its role. Soon I will belong to the other world. (To Vivekananda.) Naren, my child, sing a song. I shall meditate while you sing.

(Naren sings. Sri Ramakrishna meditates in deep trance.)

Sundara hate sundara tumi
nandana bana majhe
nishidin jena antare mor
tomari murati raje
tumi chhara mor nayan andhar
sakali mithya sakali asar
chaudike mor bishwa bhubane
bedanar sur baje
pabo kigo dekha nimesher tare
ei jibaner majhe

(You are beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful,
Beauty unparalleled in the garden of Eden.
Day and night may Thy image abide in the very depths of my heart.
Without You my eyes have no vision,
Everything is an illusion, everything is barren.
All around me, within and without,
The melody of tenebrous pangs I hear.
My world is filled with excruciating pangs.
O Lord, O my beautiful Lord,
O my Lord of beauty, in this lifetime, even for a fleeting second,
May I be blessed with the boon to see Thy Face.)

Ask him if he serves me or controls me

Dramatis personæ

VIDYASAGAR (A SCHOLAR AND SAGE)

VAISHNAB CHARAN PUNDIT (A FRIEND OF VIDYASAGAR)

HRIDAY (NEPHEW AND ATTENDANT OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

Scene 1

(Vidyasagar’s house in Calcutta. Vidyasagar is studying most attentively in his room. Enter Vaishnab Charan Pundit. They bow to each other and exchange greetings.)

PUNDIT: I have been here in Calcutta for a few days. I am sorry that I was not able to come and pay my respectful homage to you earlier.

VIDYASAGAR (smiling): I am so glad, so proud, that you have come to my home at last. Is everything going well with you? Please have a seat.

PUNDIT (taking a seat): Everything is fine, by God’s Grace. How is your health, Vidyasagar?

VIDYASAGAR: Not good. My body is not functioning well. I am old. Now I am preparing myself for the other world.

PUNDIT: Don’t say that, Vidyasagar. Don’t you know that in your absence thousands and thousands of people will be fatherless? This health, this body you have to maintain for at least one hundred years.

VIDYASAGAR: Don’t curse me, brother, don’t curse me. Already things have started to go wrong in my family. My son has become disobedient. He has cast a slur on our family. I do not know how much more suffering is in store for me.

PUNDIT: Ungratefulness is the order of the day. Bengalis have become an object of pity just because they have become totally ungrateful. The other day we had a special meeting of Pundits, and at that meeting the Pundit Panchanan said that you have ruined the Hindu religion. He said that with the help of a number of Hindu youths you are destroying the whole country. He said that there is nothing divine in your activities, no true feeling or self-sacrifice in your selfless service for Bengal. He feels it is all for name and fame. I am so sorry to tell you this. You have no idea how I suffered, and how I have been suffering for the past few days, since I heard Panchanan, of all people, speaking against you.

VIDYASAGAR: There is nothing to feel sorry about. Everything is God’s game. I do nothing, my friend. It is God who works in and through me. I am just an instrument: Nimitta matram. But I feel that you have made a mistake. I feel that you have heard something wrong. (Pauses.) I have never done any service for that Pundit. How is it that he speaks ill of me? I have come to the conclusion that only those whom I have helped in some way will criticise me. Those whom I have not helped in any way will never criticise me. And I clearly remember that I have not helped Panchanan in any way. I am sure he was speaking of somebody else.

(Enter Hriday.)

HRIDAY: O sage, my maternal uncle is constantly praying to God and meditating on God. By thinking and praying all the time he has become insane. Today he feels like seeing you, Vidyasagar.

PUNDIT: Your uncle? The Thakur of Dakshineshwar?

HRIDAY: Yes, he is outside.

PUNDIT: Outside! Why didn’t you bring him in? (Vaishnab Charan Pundit goes out and brings Ramakrishna in. He then speaks to Vidyasagar.) Today Paramahansa, the great liberated soul, the realised soul, has come to you. You can be extremely proud that he has come to you.

(Sri Ramakrishna bows to Vidyasagar. Vidyasagar in turn bows and offers Ramakrishna a seat.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: For so long I have been living in a small pond. Today I have come to the ocean.

VIDYASAGAR: Since you have come to the ocean, please accept some saline water. It is all I can offer you.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Vidyasagar, you are doing well. It is good to show love and compassion. But attachment is very bad. When someone loves only the members of his own family it is attachment. One has to see God in everyone. When a person sees the presence of God in everyone, that is called compassion. I have come to visit you because I see that you serve God in everyone. I have come to appreciate your divine wisdom. Do you think that you have grown horns, and that that is why I have come to see you?

VIDYASAGAR: Today any home has been sanctified by your feet. Today my home becomes a place of pilgrimage.

PUNDIT (to Vidyasagar): He is all divine Love. His madness is the intoxication of divine Love. Like Sri Chaitanya, he enters into the great /samadhi,/ the transcendental trance.

VIDYASAGAR: Yes, I know it. I can see it. I can feel it. (To Ramakrishna.) This boy, does he serve you? (Indicating Hriday.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Ask him if he serves me or controls me. I am terribly afraid of him.

HRIDAY: Uncle, it is very bad on your part to say so. Have I ever disobeyed you? Have I ever governed you’? Do you ever listen to me? You do not pay any attention to the outer world. You forget about the weather; you forget about food. That is why I take care of you. Sometimes I kindly command you to do a few things, but it is only for your health. Don’t make me feel ashamed whenever we go places, or I shall go away. I do not have to help you, and if you don’t care for my services I shall not remain with you any longer. (He begins to leave.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Oh, don’t go, don’t go, Hriday. Don’t leave me alone. (To Vidyasagar and Pundit.) My nephew is so nice. He loves me day and night. If he had not been with me, who would have taken care of me? I even forget to put on my clothes. If he did not control me, then how could he show his face in respectable society? I would shame him and all my family. (Hriday comes back and sits down, appeased.) Vidyasagar, again I wish to tell you that you are doing the right thing. You are serving God in humanity. You are serving God with utmost Love. That is why God is pleased with you. Your life of sacrifice will be remembered by the world forever.

(Ramakrishna rises. Vidyasagar and Pundit both rise and bow to Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna bows to them. Exeunt Ramakrishna and Hriday.)

PUNDIT: He is really a great spiritual Master. I have heard much about him, and I inwardly feel what he is.

VIDYASAGAR: I also feel what he is. He is really great. He is not only the pride of Bengal and India, but the pride of the entire world. (Pauses.) Work, work, work! Alas, my days are numbered. Yet I have not been able to serve God devotedly and soulfully. I am unable to think of my Inner Pilot because I am constantly thinking of other people and helping others. And people don’t even speak well of me. They don’t even appreciate me. If I do not bring my Inner Pilot into my life, my service to mankind will be of no use.

PUNDIT: Vidyasagar, you are really great. Your sincerity has touched the very depths of my heart. You are playing your role most devotedly, most soulfully. The creator in you is truly great, but unfortunately the critic in you is creating problems. Do not be the critic, but be the lover of humanity. You are the creator, creating love in mankind. Perfection you want, and perfection God will give you. It is the constant dedicated service you are doing for Him and for humanity that will give you perfection. You act. In your action self-perfection will dawn. Self-criticism will never give you perfection. Vidyasagar, I am advising you, but it is you who should advise me every second of my life.

VIDYASAGAR: No, God is speaking in and through you. I am so grateful to you, Pundit. From now on, now that I have seen Ramakrishna, I will pay more attention to my spiritual life. My spiritual life and my life of dedication to mankind will go together. My life of realisation and my life of dedication, which is the manifestation of Love and Light on earth, will go together from now on.

PUNDIT: Vidyasagar, a man like you is very rare. Bengal is blessed because she can claim you as her own. Mother Earth is blessed because she has you as her chosen son.

The synthesis of all religions

Dramatis personæ

SRI RAMAKRISHNA — THAKUR

HRIDAY (NEPHEW AND PERSONAL ATTENDANT OF THAKUR)

NAREN, RAKHAL, BABURAM, TARUP (DISCIPLES OF THAKUR)

Scene 1

(Night. Thakur is walking in the Panchavati grove under the trees in a contemplative mood. Enter Hriday.)

HRIDAY: Uncle, let us go home. It is cold, and the wind is blowing very hard. I see fog being formed. You are not taking care of yourself.

THAKUR: You go. I am coming.

(Exit Hriday. Thakur meditates. Re-enter Hriday.)

HRIDAY: Don’t delay, Uncle, don’t be late. You forget everything, and then it is I who suffer afterwards.

THAKUR: What can I do? My Mother has called me here. The moment she asks me to go home, I will go. Do you think that I don’t suffer when I make you suffer for me?

HRIDAY: I am going, but don’t be late.

(Exit Hriday.)

THAKUR (to himself): The synthesis of all religions, the union of East and West, self-dedication, self-sacrifice: these are all big, big words, big theories, big ideas, big ideals. But where are they, Mother? Mother, you are talking to me about all these things. These are such high ideals. But where are your dedicated soldiers? Mother, you never tell me lies. Where are they? Where are your chosen children? O chosen children of my Mother Kali, my heart is crying for you. Come. Come. Do Mother’s work. You have to fulfil the Mother. You have to manifest the Mother on earth.

(Enter Naren.)

THAKUR (with all affection and love): Ah, Naren, you have come. You have come to me after such a long time. I have been talking to worldly people for so long. I have become practically deaf from hearing the complaints and unaspiring chatter of ordinary people. People are throwing all their worldly desires into me. Now I have nobody I can speak to about my inner life. I have nobody to tell what is going on in my heart. Naren, tell me, when are you going to come again?

NAREN: The moment I get an opportunity I will be back again. Why do you think of me so much? Why do you speak to others all the time about Naren, Naren, Naren? Don’t you know the story in the Puranas about King Bharata who always thought of his deer? Then, in the following incarnation, he became a deer.

THAKUR: You are right. But what can I do? I can’t keep my mind away from you. All the time I think of you. When I don’t see you I feel miserable. (Closes his eyes and speaks to Mother Kali.) Mother, listen to what Naren is telling me. (After a few moments he opens his eyes and speaks to Naren.) I will not listen to you. You are not saying the right thing. Mother says that I see you as Narayan, I see you as the incarnation of God. The day I don’t see you as the incarnation of God, I will not even look at your face.

NAREN: If that is true, then why have you ignored me for such a long time? I have come to you and you have avoided me, ignored me mercilessly. You have shown me such contempt the past few times.

THAKUR: Mother, Mother, listen to this fellow! (To Naren.) Can I avoid you? Can I ignore you? Can I show contempt to you? Impossible! You do not know; you cannot fathom my inner workings. Naren, tell me one thing. Granted, I have not been nice to you. I have been very unkind, very rude to you. So why do you keep coming to me?

NAREN: I come here to listen to you. I adore you. I worship you. I want to see you, Thakur, even if you are unkind to me. I love your presence. I love your meditative mood. I love your trance. I love everything you do because I love you.

THAKUR: My son, I have been testing you. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t show you affection and love — whether you would stay with me or not. It is only you who can bear such indifference and contempt from me. Had it been somebody else, he would not have come to my place any more. Nobody else would have stayed with me. Whoever got that kind of treatment from me would have hated me to the end of his life.

NAREN: It is all due to your compassion, to your love, that I stayed. You know that my anger is of the quickest. But you gave me shelter in your heart. You brought me into your soul and made me your true son.

THAKUR (smiling): Naren, I have occult powers, abundant occult powers, all occult powers. But what do I do with them? I don’t even wear clothes. Who is going to use these powers? I am thinking of telling Mother that I would like to give you everything, all my occult powers. You have to do much work for the Mother. If I give you these powers you will be able to work most effectively for the world. What do you think of this idea?

NAREN: Please tell me, will these occult powers help me in realising God?

THAKUR: No, they can’t help you in realising God. But when you start working for God, they will be of great help to you.

NAREN: Then I don’t want them. I want God first. After God-realisation it is up to you and God to give me occult powers.

THAKUR: Excellent, excellent. Oh, my Naren, who else is like you? Who is free from greed, but you? Most seekers cry for occult power, but I am eager to give you my occult power and you do not want it. You want God, my son, not occult power, and God is the only thing that we all need.

(Enter Rakhal, Baburam and Tarup. They bow to Thakur.)

THAKUR: One has to be a hundred per cent devoted to God like Naren. Only then can one realise God.

RAKHAL: I know that. His sincerity has impressed me greatly. My brother is all love for you, all love for God. May I ask you a question today?

THAKUR: Of course, of course. If I don’t answer your question, then whose question shall I answer?

RAKHAL: Please tell me the essence of the Vaisnava philosophy.

THAKUR: The Vaisnava philosophy is very simple. Love humanity and serve humanity: this is the philosophy.

RAKHAL: Please explain it to me further. It is not clear to me.

THAKUR: Remember the name of God. The Truth and the possessor of the Truth are one. Lord Krishna and his true devotee are one. The devotee’s whole world is nothing but Lord Krishna. It is Krishna who has become everything for him. This is what a real Vaisnava thinks and believes, and it is absolutely true. We have to show compassion to all human beings. (Pauses.) No, I am wrong. Who are we to show compassion to all human beings? We are feebler than ants. What right, what capacity do we have to help mankind? We have to serve all human beings and know that we are then serving God, for they are all manifestations of God. This is the right attitude. We have to serve all human beings, knowing and feeling that they are all manifestations of God.

TARUP: Please tell me how I can have purity.

THAKUR: Love mankind and serve mankind as devotedly as possible. Then automatically you will have purity. You have to see God in every human being. Only then will you have devotion. And when you have devotion, real devotion for God, then your heart will be pure.

NAREN: If ever God gives me the opportunity and capacity, I shall preach before the whole world. I shall speak to the whole world; the rich and the poor, the Brahmins and the Chandalas will hear your message from me. I wish to offer your message to the entire world. Please bless me so that my desire will be fulfilled.

THAKUR: My blessing is already there. It is for you, for all of you. It has been raining down on you for the last few years. The Mother is playing her own game in and through you all. You are all just instruments of the Mother.

(Enter Hriday.)

HRIDAY: Uncle, I can’t bear you any longer. I can’t. You have really become insane. Now I know you will suffer from this cold and I will suffer even more.

THAKUR: Oh, I had forgotten. Hriday, forgive me, forgive me. Come, come, all of you, come.

(Exeunt all except Naren, who sits down on the ground and sings with folded hands.)

Jago amar swapan sathi
jago amar praner pran
jago amar chokher jyoti
rishi kabi murtiman
jago, jago, jago
jago amar bishwal hiya
byapta jaha bishwamoy
jago amar sei chetana
bishwatite shesh ja noy
jago, jago, jago
jago amar dhyani-swarup
jago amar baddhwa jib
sarba jiber tandra tuti
jago amar mukta shib
jago, jago, jago

(Arise, awake, O Friend of my dream.
Arise, awake, O Breath of my life.
Arise, awake, O Light of my eyes.
O Seer-Poet in me,
Do manifest Yourself in me and through me.

Arise, awake, O vast heart within me.
Arise, awake, O consciousness of mine,
Which is always transcending the universe
And its own life of the Beyond.

Arise, awake, O Form of my meditation transcendental.
Arise, awake, O bound divinity in humanity.
Arise, awake, O my heart’s Liberator, Shiva,
And free mankind from its ignorance-sleep.)

Drink, drink my Mother’s Nectar

Dramatis personæ

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

DISCIPLES

CAPTAIN (A DISCIPLE)

A DEVOTEE

Scene 1

(Ramakrishna with his disciples. Enter Captain.)

RAMAKRISHNA: Come in, Captain. (Captain bows to Ramakrishna.) I know you have read the Bhagavad Gita many, many times. I wish to hear from you about the Gopis.

CAPTAIN: When Krishna was at Vrindavana he had no wealth, but the Gopis loved him more dearly than they loved their own lives. Their love for Sri Krishna was so pure, so genuine, so divine. They gave him their vital desires and their psychic aspiration. They gave him their all.

RAMAKRISHNA: Krishna, Krishna ... (Enters into trance.) Captain, tell me more.

CAPTAIN: Not to speak of ordinary yogis, even the great yogis cannot have free access to Krishna’s heart. But because of their devoted love and unconditional surrender to him, the Gopis always had free access to Krishna’s heart.

A DEVOTEE: Thakur, our greatest novelist, Bankim Chandra, recently wrote an excellent book on Krishna.

RAMAKRISHNA: I see. Do you know that Bankim does not believe in Radha? He believes only in Krishna.

CAPTAIN: That means he does not believe in Krishna’s divine lila.

RAMAKRISHNA: But Bankim also says that sex life is necessary.

CAPTAIN: It is very strange that on the one hand he thinks and feels that sex life is necessary, while on the other hand he does not believe in the divine lila, the divine game. I see in him nothing but contradictions.

RAMAKRISHNA: You call it contradiction and I call it lack of realisation. Mere book learning and God-realisation are never, never the same thing. For God-realisation you have to pray, you have to meditate. You have to cry like a child. A child cries for his mother and he gets her. If you cry for the Divine Mother’s Nectar, you will get it without fail. Drink, drink my Mother Kali’s Nectar as much as you want to. Be immortal, my sweet children.

This body will not last very long

Dramatis personæ

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

RAKHAL

NAREN

OTHER SELECTED DISCIPLES

Scene 1

(Sri Ramakrishna with some of his selected disciples.)

RAMAKRISHNA: My health is failing very rapidly.

RAKHAL: Please tell us how we can restore your health.

RAMAKRISHNA: That depends on the Will of God.

NAREN: I know your will has become inseparably one with God’s Will.

RAMAKRISHNA: In this body two persons live: God in the form of an Avatar, and God in the form of a devotee. An Avatar’s devotees come with him and go away with him.

RAKHAL: So you must not go away alone, leaving us behind.

RAMAKRISHNA: The religious mendicants appear quite unexpectedly out of the blue. They sing and dance, and again they disappear quite unexpectedly. Hardly anyone recognises their aspiration. Similarly, spiritual Masters appear and disappear without being recognised. (Ramakrishna closes his eyes for a minute.) I tell you all that a life without renunciation is no life at all. Renounce your ignorance. Renounce your knowledge. Renounce what you have and what you are.

NAREN: When I talk of renunciation some people get terribly annoyed with me.

RAMAKRISHNA: Naren, don’t be afraid of them. Say what you must say. It is through renunciation that you can and you will realise God. (Caresses Naren.) Much.

NAREN (with a smile): What do you mean by “much”?

RAMAKRISHNA: Much renunciation has been accomplished by you. Naren, I have told you many times that you have come into the world for me.

NAREN: I don’t quite understand what you say. Please explain it to me.

RAMAKRISHNA: You are here on earth to manifest me. I have already given you all that I have. I have nothing left.

NAREN: Do you mean that I have to believe all that you say to me?

RAMAKRISHNA: You will not only believe me but make all of humanity believe who I am.

NAREN: You talk. I listen.

RAMAKRISHNA: True. But in the near future you are going to act.

NAREN: From the very dust of your feet you can give birth to millions of Narens like me.

RAMAKRISHNA: Stop, stop. From the very Heart of God, from the very Breath of God you have come. Naren, my Naren, with you I am complete.

NAREN: Thakur, in your heart I am fulfilled. At your feet I am perfect. (Prostrates himself at Ramakrishna’s feet.)